Sammy has been taking taekwondo for 2 1/2 years. He started taking lessons as a summer activity, a way to give him a way to burn some pent up energy during the school break (there was a summer special, too, so it was a relatively cheap option) (also, air conditioned). I figured at the end of the summer, we'd shake the instructors' hands and be done with it. Boy, was I wrong. Two years and change wrong.
He absolutely loves it. Goes to class 3, 4, 5 times a week. Practices at home. Shows his friends his moves at recess. And the instructors love him right back. Even though he isn't a textbook student (to put it mildly), they are extremely patient (yet firm) with him and get the best out of him. They have never even hinted that he isn't capable of not only performing, but excelling. He has yet to fail a belt test. And as such, his focus and discipline have taken a sharp upward growth. It has been amazing to watch. And did I mentioned the air conditioning? Beats the heck out of hanging out at a soccer field when its 100 degrees out.
Last month, Sammy tested for his first black belt. This level is called probationary, but is still a capital B Black Belt. The studio asks their black belt candidates to write an essay about their journeys to this point, and I was probably more nervous about Sammy getting through that than breaking a wood plank with his hand. But he totally leaned in, asking for my help and that of his teachers at school. He planned it all out, dictated it to me (I'm a faster typist), and got that sucker done. And oh yeah, he broke that wood plank with his hand no problem, and another one with his foot.
So my sweet, innocent little boy is now a Black Belt, and that is something no one can ever take away from him. And it's just the beginning, because he has no plans to stop. I love seeing his tenacious side, especially for a kid whose interest and attention tend to fade faster than a dollar store flashlight. What can I say - I'm a proud mama bear.
Everybody, stay on his good side, 'cause he can take you OUT.